Troubleshooting Common Issues With Your Netgear Wireless Router

Troubleshooting Common Issues With Your Netgear Wireless Router

Whether you’ve just plugged it in or you’re experiencing a sudden outage, it’s not uncommon to encounter issues with your Netgear Wireless Router.

Fluctuations in network connectivity from your ISP or internet service provider, a power surge, or a spike in traffic can all contribute to interruptions in your service. Some issues come from user error.

Some issues come from user error. Other issues arise from your outdated firmware.

Before you end up trying to navigate the maze of the Netgear support, try some simple solutions at home. Below is a list of solutions to fixing hiccups in your connection that’ll get you back online and back to your life.

I Can’t Access the Internet

If all of your lights are steady and displaying the correct color, you might need to reset your device. If that doesn’t work, try going to “Settings” and choosing the option “Forget This Network“.

If that doesn’t solve your issues, you may need to look into the connection your router is making with your ISP.

Open up a browser and try connecting to www.google.com. If nothing happens, go to the router’s interface page at www.routerlogin.net. Go to Administration > Router Status. Find the label “Internet Port” and be sure you see a valid IP address.

If you see 0.0.0.0., your Netgear wireless router isn’t connecting to your ISP. Your next step might be to restart your network or call your ISP. Double check that your login and password to your ISP (if required) are set correctly.

My Connection is Too Slow

A slow connection is frustrating to deal with. If you watch movies or play games online, surely you’ve encountered slowdowns that have a negative impact on your experience.

There are some simple solutions to optimizing your connection speed to your Netgear wireless router.

Router configuration could be the source of your problems. If your router has QoS and WMM settings, you may want to disable one or both of these settings. In certain wireless configurations, disabling these two settings can increase your speed greatly.

Configuring upstream to QoS tells your router to prioritize data out. This can increase performance for gaming.

If you spend more time watching video or streaming from the web, consider prioritizing downstream with QoS.

No Connection In Some Rooms

You may be experiencing connection drops as you move from room to room. This can be the result of a variety of issues. Basements are notoriously bad for signal bounce.

Be sure your Netgear wireless router is set up in the center of where all of your wi-fi action will take place. Putting it in the corner of your place might seem like the most aesthetically pleasing solution but your connection could suffer.

Consider your options when dealing with dead zones.

If it’s in your budget, I recommend getting a signal booster or a powerline network extender. Extenders use the existing wiring in the house to transmit wi-fi signals from your router to every corner of your home. This isn’t the cheapest solution but it’s much better solution than trying to rewire your house.

Wi-fi repeaters are an alternate and cheaper solution.

However, instead of boosting the signal with house wiring, they can only transmit the signal that they receive from the main router. You’ll receive a steady connection at a mere drip of what you’d get from your primary wireless router.

The Power LED Stays Amber

If you’ve had to reset your router, it should come back to all green after a minute of being plugged in. You can disconnect then reconnect the power to see if the issue is resolved. Your next option is to reset the router to its default configuration and password.

Find a pin or a paper clip and locate the small reset button on the back of your Netgear wireless router. Press and hold the button with the small pin. After 20 seconds, release the button and allow the router to reset.

Following this process, your router’s default IP address will be 192.168.1.1 and the password will be set to “password”. Type the IP address into your browser to change or update your configuration settings.

Can’t Connect Wirelessly

Are you having trouble finding your wireless network in your device’s list of networks? Check to see if the wi-fi LED on your router is lit. If not, there may be a toggle button to turn it on.

If you’re still having issues, look at the wireless settings for the router. Find an ethernet cable and connect your computer directly to the router. Log in using the router’s IP address. It may still be set to the default 192.168.1.1. Go to Basic > Wireless. Select “Apply” once changes are made.

If you see your network but the connection is weak, try adjusting your distance from the router.

You should be at least 6 feet away but within a reasonable distance of the router. See if this improves signal strength. Remove any objects you see that might be getting in the way of your signal as well.

Other Netgear Wireless Router Issues

So you’ve updated your firmware, you’ve reset your router, and still nothing? It might be time to call tech support for any issues not covered in this guide. Before you drop an hour or two on the phone with support, go through our Netgear setup guide and see if you’ve missed anything.

Even someone with years of experience with IT products is sure to overlook a common issue in the frustration of troubleshooting. Don’t fret. You’re not the first person to encounter this problem and you won’t be the last.

If your issues still persist, don’t hesitate to contact us or search through our blog for more common solutions to common problems.

7 Ways to Boost the Speeds of Your Netgear Router

7 Ways to Boost the Speeds of Your Netgear Router

What’s worse than trying to stream Game of Thrones and seeing the buffer wheel appear every two minutes? If it keeps it up, you’ll accidentally fall face first into spoilers on the internet.

Boosting your internet speed doesn’t have to mean investing in fiber optic cables or using your neighbor’s password. There are a few simple things you can do to boost the speeds of your Netgear router with little to no effort.

Here are seven ways to boost your WiFi speeds and protect yourself from spoilers (mostly):

1. Centralize and Elevate Your Router

Your router needs to be in the right place to work properly. For many of us, it’s located in an office, living room, or even in a cupboard. Unless those rooms are at the center of your house, your router is likely in the wrong place.

To rectify the situation and improve your signal and speed, put your router in a central area in your home and raise it up away from the floor.

The best place for your router is in an area that is as central as possible. You also want to keep it away from other electronics, especially anything that emits radio waves.

Keeping it in an open area away from walls is also helpful. Doing so prevents the waves from bouncing back towards the router rather than spreading out into your home.

Raising the router is also important because a Netgear router will send its waves down. Keeping it too close to the floor prevents you from maximizing the spread of the radio waves.

2. Change the Antenna Orientation

Most new router models include internal antennas. To make the most of them, be sure to use them the way they lay naturally. This means placing the router in its natural position.

In other words, if there are feet on the router, set the router on its feet. Don’t lay it down on its side. If the router has two sets of feet, feel free to set it on either side.

If your model uses adjustable antennas, you’ll want to lay them along the same plane. In this case, you’ll want to point straight up and the other to lay flat. This position maximizes radio reception.

3. Set Up an Automatic Reboot

It’s a basic IT maxim: when in doubt, reboot.

You’ll also likely have noticed that rebooting your router improves your speed. If you find your router loves a good reboot on a regular basis, set up a system to allow it to do so automatically.

Tomato or DD-Wrt firmware provides a timed reboot option for your router. Set it up to reboot overnight when you won’t miss it, and you’ll have better WiFi speeds all day.

4. Invest in an Amplified Aftermarket Antenna

The antennas added to the average router are enough to give you WiFi. They also have the added benefit of being omnidirectional, which means the router is easy to set up regardless of technical ability.

However, in some cases, the built in router is not enough to boost your signal if your WiFi conditions are less than perfect.

Replacing the existing antenna with a stronger antenna is often the way to go. Alternatively, you can add an additional external antenna to the router.

To get started, check out the router manufacturer’s website to identify the right additional antenna for the model you own. Be sure to buy an antenna that supports wireless N technology if your router offers it.

You don’t need any additional tools to upgrade existing external antennas. The process is as simple as taking off the old antennas and replacing them with the new one.

Note: if you’re unable to remove the original antenna, they aren’t replaceable.

If the antennas aren’t replaceable, move on to option #2: add an additional external antenna.

Check your router for an additional external antenna jack. The jack is designed to provide a simple connection for an additional antenna. However, you’ll need to make sure you order the correct antenna for your router type. So, be sure to look at the router manual before ordering a new one.

5. Buy a New Router

Older routers will be slower than new models.

The current WiFi standard is 802.11ac. If you want to maximize connectivity, look for a router rated:

  • 802.11n
  • 80211.b
  • 802.11g

These are best equipped to boost your speed and connectivity throughout the home.

Not sure what WiFi standard you’re running?

Check it in three simple steps:

  1. Click the WiFi shortcut found on the bottom of the PC screen
  2. Click on your connection
  3. Click on ‘Properties’ and your connection will be visible under ‘Protocol’

6. Update the Router’s Firmware

Just as old versions of an operating system slow down your phone or tablet, old versions of firmware impede a router’s performance.

Router manufacturers provide updates to their firmware on a regular basis to keep them competitive and promote performance.

The ease of this process depends on both the manufacturer and model of your router. Newer routers have a firmware upgrade button, which simplifies the process. If you’re running an older Netgear router, you may need to hunt down the firmware on the manufacturer’s website.

7. Switch Your Frequency

The most common frequency used on a Netgear router is the 2.4GHz band. By switching over to the 5GHz band, you’ll achieve better throughput, which translates into faster speeds.

Even if switching over doesn’t improve the real speed, it will at least cut down on the interference from all the other routers in the area on the 2.4GHz band.

Switching couldn’t be simpler. Check the administrator interface to see if your router offers the option for 5GHz. If so, turn it on and set up the network as you would.

Grow the Horsepower of Your Netgear Router

Now you’ve got seven simple tips in your arsenal to make the most of your WiFi by optimizing your router. Use them all together, and you’ll never buffer during your favorite shows again.

Do you have any tips for improving WiFi speeds and Netgear router performance? Let us know in the comments.

Choosing Between Wired and Wireless Networking

Choosing Between Wired and Wireless Networking

Choosing Between Wired and Wireless Networking

Choosing Between Wired and Wireless Networking

Are you looking to create a connection and want to know whether it should be wired or wireless? Here’s some help to choose wired or wireless networking.

Keyword(s): Wireless Networking

Do you need a reliable internet network but can’t decide what’s right for you?

Wired networks like ethernet are famous for their speed and stability, but your computer must be connected to a cable at all times. This can limit your movement and the ability to communicate with other computers.

Wireless networking is a better way to link several PCs through a single hub, but the connection may be slower and less secure.

Wireless internet is often used on laptops and mobile devices. Wired connections are a better choice for home and office computers. 

In this article, we’ll compare the benefits of wired and wireless networks.

Wired Networking

The most popular type of wired connection is ethernet. Other similar types are phone-line and power-line.

If you want great speed and reliability, choose ethernet. You’ll get seamless data transfer experience and network stability. It’s the best choice for home networks when you have a single computer and don’t need to move it around.

Ethernet speed ranges from 10-100 Mbps depending on the manufacturer, but you can easily update it to 1 Gbps.

Wired networks are generally safer than wireless and come with pre-installed firewalls.

Though it all sounds good on paper, the benefits of wired connections come with a few drawbacks.

For example, if you have several computers in your home or office that all need an internet connection, you’ll have to connect them all through wires.

Thus, if these computers need to communicate with each other and share files, the solution is to create a local wired network through a hub. If you don’t mind the extra cables and adapters, this option can work out well.

Wireless Networking

Connecting through wireless networks is becoming very popular due to ease of use.

With so many people on the go, it’s logical to choose networks that’ll give you complete freedom of movement.

Although wireless networking is slightly pricier than ethernet or other wired alternatives, it has its own perks.

For instance, you can easily connect several devices through a router at your home or office without having cables everywhere. You’ll need to choose the best one for your needs and the number of computers. Then, you should figure out where to place it in the home or office based on the coverage you need.

Wireless connections are less secure than wired. But if you configure them properly, you’ll have nothing to worry about. 

Bottom Line

If you can’t make up your mind between wired or wireless networking, compare their pros and cons. Some users look at prices before making a final decision.

Most people choose wired ethernet for their home or office computers and wi-fi for any other computers on the same network.

Choose wired connections when you need stability and speed during data transfer. Install wi-fi to communicate with other computers on your network.

This way, you get only one wired PC on the one hand and a decent internet connection for all other devices on the other.

It’s a win-win situation!

How Does Google Perform as a WiFi Mesh Network?

How Does Google Perform as a WiFi Mesh Network?

Launched on December 6 of last year, Google’s WiFi mesh network seems to be performing well. 

According to an article, the network scored an average download speed of 117.6 Mbps (Megabytes per second) out of 150 Mbps. 

The article further stated that it averaged an upload speed of 108.5 Mbps out of 150 Mbps.  

Especially given its price ($130 for the base unit; $299 for a 3-pack), it gives solid coverage.  

However, that’s not all… 

Read on to find out just how functional this WiFi mesh network is. 

But First, How Does Your Typical WiFi Mesh Network Work? 

A mesh network is unlike your standard hotspot network. Instead, it depends on mesh nodes. These nodes transmit signals to hundreds of other nodes, making it easier to get a solid connection over a vast amount of space. 

What makes a mesh network impressive is that it only needs one node to be physically connected to a modem. Unlike your traditional network, which needs to be entirely connected. 

This feature makes the mesh network as wireless as can be. 

However, it still works like a typical wireless router. The nodes use the same communication channels as your standard WiFi: 802.11a, b, and g.

Because you only need one node connected to your modem, the installation costs are a lot less. Plus, there’s less hassle in physically getting it set up. 

And, if you do decide you don’t want it anymore, it’s just as easy to uninstall. 

What Makes Google WiFi Accessible? 

According to this article, the network has very powerful radios. There was little challenge in getting a strong connection.

But, other than the strong signal, here’s what other features it comes with.

Aesthetically pleasing shape

Google WiFi looks like a small jar. Which, if you’ve seen other WiFi networks, is more visually pleasing. 

Because of its appearance, you can place it on your nightstand or desk. Not in some corner or underneath the TV. 

While it would look fine on a table or desk, it might look awkward where your standard modem or other (blocky) WiFi would be at.

Easy installation

We mentioned earlier how you simply need one node installed in order for a mesh network to work. Google WiFi is no exception. 

But it also comes with an app that tests the placement of each node. That way, you can find the optimal placement for the best connection. 

Controllability

Yes, you can control your WiFi. But that’s not all…

You also can control the brightness of the LEDs. 

Plus, you can pause the Internet delivery on devices such as mobile phones. 

On top of that, you can access technology-friendly home products. 

Back to strong signal

You should expect a strong signal. According to an article, a 3-pack will cover a 4,500 square foot home. 

In addition, the reason why mesh networks work so well is because they intuitively find the fastest route—aka dynamic routing. 

This means you should be able to get a fast connection in one corner of the house versus the opposite side. 

For more information, contact us

Where Should I Place My Router for the Best WiFi Connection?

WiFi Connection

When most of us sign up for home internet services, we expect our WiFi connection to reach the whole house. And with the average internet speed in the U.S. now 1000x faster than good ol’ dial-up, there’s no reason not to take advantage of it.

At the same time, you must reconcile with the fact that the strength of your connection wanes the further you are from the router.

So how do you manage to set up your box to make sure you’re connected in your home office or in the shower? (Hey, we live in a connected world!)

Here are a few tips to do just that:

Place it Centrally

Your router doesn’t need to be on top of your computer for your to have a good wifi connection.

In fact, it’s better to place the router in a central location in your house to better reach every corner – not just your office or kitchen table.

Finding the best central location for your router is an experiment. Don’t settle for the first place you try (unless your download speeds are through the roof).

Instead, experiment with several potential locations in your home and measure the speed in different areas to make your decision.

If you find your WiFiconnection peaks when the router is half way up a wall, opposite a bookcase, then so be it. It’s worth it for those sweet, sweet download speeds.

Avoid Thick Walls

The radio waves produced by your router can move through walls like ghosts. But unlike a specter, they struggle with concrete or brick walls.

Thick walls tend to absorb radio waves and kill your WiFi connection. So be wary of the placement of those walls in your home when you’re placing your router.

Other things that kill your download speed? Water, metal, and mirrors.

Water absorbs your those waves like a thick wall will. Meanwhile, metal and mirrors reflect them back rather than propelling them forward.

So, if you have a carefully crafted mirror maze in your house, avoid putting your router in that room. Your signal will bounce around, but it may not escape!

Keep Out of the Kitchen

Your kitchen is full of appliances that emit radio waves.

In fact, your microwave and your router use the same 2.4 GHz frequency of the electromagnetic spectrum.

So while it sounds like a conspiracy theory, your microwave does throw off your WiFi connection.

But in reality, so does your baby monitor, your cell phone, and your garage door opener.

Keeping your router out of the kitchen is a good idea because it avoids microwave interference. Plus, other metal appliances also get in the way by absorbing your precious radio waves.

Install your router at least three feet from other appliances – including your phone – for the best connection.

If you go take the time to avoid obstacles that suck up your internet speed, it’s possible to maximize the revolutionary speeds your service provider offers.

The Bottom Line on Your WiFi Connection

Still having trouble managing your connection in the furthest reaches of your home? Consider looking into a WiFi extender and click here to find for our full guide on setting it up.

How to Locate Your WiFi Password When You Forget It

How to Locate Your WiFi Password When You Forget It

We’ve all lost our WiFi passwords at some point in time.

And in that very moment, we all wished we would’ve written them down.

So, what if you didn’t write it down or memorize it? How can you get your WiFi password back?

Well, all is not lost yet. There’s a litany of ways you can get your password back.

Here are a few ways of how you can get your WiFi password back.

Look At The Back Of The Router

Most routers have the network key and password already labeled on them.

If you pick-up your router, you might notice a sticker on its back or bottom side. This sticker will have a few strings of numbers and letters on it.

And one of those long labels will be your router’s default password. If you haven’t reset your default password yet, this is your most current password. And will be able to get you back online.

However, if you’ve changed it recently, it might not work.

Your Window’s PC Already Has Your WiFi Password saved

Given that about 90% of the computer market is on a Windows operating system, you’re in luck.

If you’ve connected to a WiFi network over a device running a Windows operating system, your PC has remembered that password. What a relief!

If you’ve forgotten your WiFi password on your PC, locate the “Network and Sharing Center.” This is in the menu for the “Control Panel.”

Once you’re there, click on the network you’ve previously connected to. Scroll a bit down, and you’ll see “Show Password.”

And voila!

You’ve got your WiFi password again!

Even Your Mac Already Has Your WiFi Password Saved

If you’re in the minority running a Macintosh operating system, don’t worry.

You’re password’s still there.

Locating your WiFi password couldn’t be any easier on an Apple device:

Simply press the “Command” and “Spacebar” keys simultaneously to open “Spotlight.” From there, type “Keychain Access” into the search bar. Then press “Return.”

From there, locate the network you’re trying to get the password too. In order for this to work, you must have already joined that network before. And have used the correct password, as well.

Afterward, you’ll be presented with a window to fill out.

You’ll have to enter your administrator login information again. This will be the same username and password you use to log into your Macbook.

Then, you’ll be rewarded for all your strenuous work:

Your network’s WiFi password will be on display.

Reset Your Router And WiFi Password

If all else fails, start from mile-zero.

Should you not be able to get your WiFi password back after following the above tips, there’s only one option left:

Resetting your internet router.

Most routers will have a pinhole sized opening toward their backside. When inserting the end of a paperclip into it, hold it there fourteen seconds. This will make sure you’re fully resetting the router.

After doing that, you’ll have to reinstall your router. This may mean you’ll have to look for your router’s instructions to install it again.

A fresh install will allow you to reset your password, even though it may be some work.

Have any more questions for us on how you can get back your WiFi password? Feel free to get in contact with us!

7 Vital Components of a Home Netgear Security Camera

7 Vital Components of a Home Netgear Security Camera

With everything going on out there these days, home security cameras are becoming less like a luxury and more of a necessity. Especially since tech prices keep dropping.

Netgear security cameras like the Arlo and the Arlo Pro are getting cheaper and easier to use all the time.

Not only can they help you keep an eye on things, they can actually deter crime — even as much as 20% over an entire urban neighborhood.

So what can you expect from one?

Netgear Security Camera features include:

1. Object Recognition.

This is the most exciting development in security camera tech. Older cams were more or less motion detectors with video, but these days a good camera can tell the difference between a tree branch, a household pet, or a human.

The next level, which future Arlo upgrades will incorporate, is facial recognition, so your security system will know whether a human form should be in your backyard or not.

2. 720p Streaming.

This is the clearest HD picture you can get from an outdoor security camera — and you get a full week of cloud storage, so you can see what happens while you’re on vacation.

3. Wide Viewing Angle.

A 130-degree angle, to be precise. Again, the widest angle on an outdoor system.

4. Two-Way Audio.

This feature not only allows you to screen visitors from anywhere in the house, you can also use it for friendlier purposes, say, greeting Airbnb visitors or communicating with the delivery guy.

Think of it as a very smart, very secure doorbell!

(It’s only available on the Arlo Pro, but the price on the Pro has fallen far enough so that it’s not a costly upgrade.)

5. Smart Siren.

No matter how big your home is, the Pro’s siren will reach you when something’s not quite right on your property. 100 decibels of power that won’t annoy the neighbors.

The Pro also hooks up to free services like IFTTT, which means you can sync it with SmartThings, Phillips Hue lights, or your Apple tech.

Not to mention your GPS and your phone client!

6. Wide Range.

Netgear security cameras are still tops when it comes to scanning the outdoors, thanks to its unique hub system. The Arlo Pro will reach 300 feet at its max.

7. Dedicated Wi-Fi.

Worried about slowing down all the things in your internet of things? Don’t. Each Netgear security camera comes with its own wi-fi, so you don’t have to climb on the back of your normal web connection.

This provides extra security if someone tries to hack your router, too.

Better still, the batteries are not only rechargeable but good for a solid six months per use, which is at least three times longer than most other security camera systems.

With technology in the field advancing by leaps and bounds and prices falling so fast, it only makes sense to invest in a home security system you control.

The average response time of the police is somewhere between 9 and 11 minutes. That’s not always fast enough.

Why not be alerted as soon as possible? Get in touch and let us take care of your home security needs.

WiFi 101: Getting Up to Speed with Wireless Networking

WiFi 101: Getting Up to Speed with Wireless Networking

Are you trying to set up a wireless internet network in your home? Looking to learn more about wireless networking? In need of a WiFi 101?

These days, most people use wireless networking on a daily basis. Yet, few of us really know how it works.

Wireless networking can seem complicated. You can probably testify to how confusing wireless connection is if you’ve ever tried to set it up at home.

Setting up a wireless connection isn’t complicated once you understand how it works!

This article will serve as your go-to WiFi guide. We’re going to bring you up to speed with everything there is to know about basic wireless networking!

Understand Wired Networking

For there to be any sort of internet connection, you need a router. A router is the main device for any wired or wireless connection.

Usually, you’ll find around 4 ports on one end of a router. These are your LAN (Local Area Network) ports. LAN ports provide the network that internet users need to connect to.

The number of LAN ports is the number of networks that are possible with a single router. If you want to add more networks to a router, you’ll need to add more network cables and ports to the router.

For any wireless or wired router to connect to the internet, there needs to be a WAN (Wide Area Network) port. Routers usually come with 1 WAN port. The WAN port connects multiple LAN ports together.

Routers feature hubs or switches. These allow for multiple users to connect their devices to a network.

If you’re using a wired network, you’ll plug a network cable, like an ethernet cord, into one of these LAN ports. These network cables then connect to your electronic device.

WiFi 101 #1: How Wireless Networking Works

With wireless networks, they mean exactly what they say.

WiFi 101 Rule #1: No wires. No cables.

But wired networks tend to be faster than wireless networks. That’s because wireless connections compete less with other connections in the air.

Wired networks connect to a single router and don’t compete with other networks in the area. But wired networks mean less flexibility to take your devices where you want.

A WLAN (wireless local area network) is another word for a wireless network. A wireless network uses the same features as a wired network.

For a router to provide wireless connection, it needs an antenna. Antennas are usually built right into the router or on the outside of it.

Rather than connect with network cables, wireless networks communicate with wireless radio connections. Devices that can receive wireless radio connections can connect to a wireless network.

For there to be WiFi, there needs to be an access point. An access point (AP) transmits a WiFi signal and allows you to connect to it.

Wireless routers come with multiple LAN ports, a WAN port, and an access point. Every wireless network belongs to its own access point.

WiFi 101 #2: What to Expect When Setting Up

When you set up your wireless network, you’ll need to name it. This name is your wireless network’s Service Set Identifier or SSID.

An SSID distinguishes a wireless network from other networks. This is what you see when you try to connect to WiFi.

You’ll need to access your router’s configuration page in your web browser when setting up. You’ll configure your router by entering its address bar on the configuration page. You’ll find your router’s IP in the instruction manual.

Have you ever had to enter a password to connect to a wireless network?

That’s because people privatize their wireless networks, and so should you!

Your router supports different modes of authentication to support your WiFi. Some are less secure than others. In your home network, you want to use a WPA2 authentication.

WPA2 is an updated security protocol that will secure your wireless network.

To speed up your wireless connection, you can set up a password with an authentication scheme. This prevents neighbors and others in the area from using your internet.

Most modern routers are dual band. This means that they support WiFi in 2.4 or 5 GHz. 5 GHz is faster, but some devices won’t be able to connect as easily.

Connect Better With Wireless Networking!

Wired networking and wireless networking both have their advantages and disadvantages.

Wired networks provide faster internet speed. But nothing beats being able to take your home internet connection with you anywhere!

You can connect to the internet in your bathroom, kitchen, or backyard on a wireless network! Create a faster and more efficient experience using the most up-to-date wireless router!

How Ransomware Works to Attack Your Home Network

How Ransomware Works to Attack Your Home Network

Since the dawn of the internet, cyber security has been a major concern.

The attacks have changed over the years, but the same problems still exist. Hackers want your data and you’d like to remain safe while enjoying all the benefits the internet has to offer.

But everytime developers and IT security pros solve a security issue, new ones emerge.

One of the latest and most common internet security threats is ransomware. Ransomware is easy for hackers to implement and tough for you to defend against.

Whether you’re a casual PC user or are about to set up your own network, you need to understand ransomware.

So what exactly is ransomware?

Let’s take a closer look at how ransomware works.

How ransomware works its way into your home

Like many malware issues, ransomware issues typically begin with an email.

A user will receive an email that looks like it’s from a legitimate source. In the email, they’re directed to a link. Once the link is clicked, the user is taken to a malicious website and it’s all downhill from there.

Ransomware can be found in malicious links online as well, so be careful what you click.

What happens next

Once you’ve clicked a link in an email or online that introduces ransomware to your computer, an exploitative kit begins to look for vulnerabilities on your machine.

Once the ransomware finds its way in, it encrypts the files on your computer and sends an encryption key back to the creator of the ransomware. By encrypting your files, the ransomware effectively locks down your computer, preventing you from using it.

A computer that has ben infected with ransomware is only accessible by someone with the encryption key.

How ransomware got its name

The next step is where the “ransom” in ransomware comes from.

Once a hacker has locked down your system, they will then ask you to pay a ransom to regain access.

The ransom message typically comes in the form of a popup on your screen.

Why ransomware is so effective

Ransomware is so effective because it plays to one of our most basic (and exploitable) emotions: fear.

No one wants to lose their data. Whether it’s personal or work-related, losing your data or the use of a computer is not an ideal situation.

Most users–whether they’re individuals or large organizations–are going to relent to the hacker’s demands. And that’s exactly what they’re counting on.

After all, it’s tough to run a business, hospital, or your life without the use of your network or computers.

It doesn’t end there …

Sadly, even if you’re able to ransom your computer back from the attacker, they will often then install more malicious code onto your PC.

Once they’ve collected their ransom many hackers will then use the opportunity to infect your computer with additional spyware to capture your credentials, financial information, or other sensitive information.

Are you safe from ransomware?

Now that you understand how ransomware works, do you think you’re safe?

The simplest step you can take to protect yourself and your network from ransomware are to simply exercise common sense. Check the source of any suspicious emails before opening and be cautious when clicking on unknown links online.

5 Tips to Up Your WiFi Performance

5 Tips to Up Your WiFi Performance

WiFi can be tricky to get right. One minute it’s working beautifully, the next minute, you’re stuck with a spinning cursor as pages refuse to load. There’s got to be an easier way to boost your WiFi performance rather than calling your ISP every time it goes out.

If you’re looking to speed up your Internet connection without constantly turning your router off and on again, we’ve got 5 quick and easy tips for you to try.

Speed up

Our first tip to increase your WiFi performance may be a little obvious. Of course, you’ll speed up your connection – that’s why you’re reading this, right?

However, the speed of your WiFi connection is determined by what version you have. That’s right: WiFi goes through updates and upgrades just like your favorite hardware and software.

Each version of WiFi has a number which indicates what version it is. Usually, the newer versions are faster than the old ones.

The former standard version was 802.11n. Times have changed, and we’re working with 802.11ac as the standard. Make sure that your WiFi is up to date, and you’ll see an automatic increase up to 3 times your previous speed.

Router Placement

Though you may have a place in your house perfect for your router, that doesn’t mean it’s perfect for your connection. Your router needs to be placed in an area that’s optimal for a WiFi connection.

That means it can’t be near water, nor is it a good idea to surround them with metal, glass, brick, or insulation. Human bodies aren’t the best either, but at home, there’s not much you can do about it.

However, the rest of these materials can limit the strength of your signal, so put your router in an open place – and elevate it off the floor as much as you can.

Reposition Antennas

If you’ve got images in your head of someone fiddling with the long antennas of an old, staticky TV, you’re not too far off!

Wireless routers come with antennas (obviously), though the type you have will depend on your router. The antennas can be external and internal.

If your antennas are external, take a shot at positioning them perpendicular to each other. That means one needs to be vertical while the other’s horizontal.

Why does this work? The connection between your router and device will be stronger when the transmitter and receiver operate on the same plane. This positioning will fix that. 

If you have internal antennas or only one, try fiddling with it until you find a position which works.

Security

To up your WiFi connection, make sure your network is secured.

If it isn’t, there’s no telling who’s leeching off your network. Neighbors, friends, the creepy old guy in the parking lot – it could be anyone.

Not only can this drag down your speed by sapping your bandwidth, it can also be a threat to your entire system.

Heatmapping

This may sound a little advanced, but there’s really not much to it. You can easily use a heat mapping software to see if there’s possibly another WiFi connection that’s interfering with yours.

The software works by showing you what your home’s wireless map looks like, so if nothing else, you can see precisely what kind of connection each room is getting.

Ready to Boost Your WiFi Performance?

Figuring out your connection doesn’t have to be a headache, nor do you have to be a tech expert in order to experience the best connection your router is capable of.

If your WiFi is acting up and your ISP doesn’t seem to be helping, try one of these tips. Nothing wrong with ensuring your connection’s secure, right?

If you have questions regarding your WiFi connection, or you’re having trouble with your router, we’d love to help out!